You don’t have to be an expert in global affairs to see the benefits of spending some of your international relations study time in Geneva. Even though you may actively keep track of current events by regularly perusing media channels, it is hard to beat seeing the United Nations firsthand as a part of your summer study abroad program.

Geneva has long been an epicenter of international relations. Home of the Palais des Nations, which was previously known as the Völkerbund, this city in Switzerland has typically been associated with European and global diplomacy.

From the construction of this famous Swiss structure in the 1930s right up until 1946, the Völkerbund served as the headquarters of the League of Nations. Today, the palace still plays a prominent role in realm of international politics. It has been home base for the UN since 1966, and it is now continuously filled with delegates and other professionals working in the diplomacy field. Holding more than 8,000 meetings each year, the Palais des Nations is almost always buzzing with international activity.

What better reason to embark on a summer study abroad venture than to immerse yourself in the field of international affairs by making a pilgrimage of sorts to the UN headquarters? While you will be acquiring a great deal of knowledge from your coursework, you can also gain some firsthand insight into the workings and mechanics of this global institution. This kind of occasion in and of itself can help fuel your thirst for learning and satisfy your desire for having an experience of a lifetime.

Take a spin around the Palais
As you are studying various subcategories within the overarching subject of international relations, why not mix things up by taking a tour of the Palais? Although you may not be able to participate in the diplomatic processes going on in this locale – not yet, anyway – you can at least see some portions of the place where major global decisions are made.

For example, are you particularly intrigued by human rights activism? Well, luckily for you, you can take a spin in the Human Rights and Alliance of Civilizations Room. Or perhaps. if you are more of a history buff, you may be tempted to venture into the Council Chamber. Here, many notable negotiations were carried out by international political leaders. Coming face to face with this space and the José Maria Sert murals that decorate the walls may bring all of those historic compromises to life. Now wouldn’t that opportunity be worth way more than the textbooks you have to lug around all year round for your classes?

Not to mention, taking a tour of the UN while you are spending your summer enjoying an international learning experience will add another layer of facts to your existing knowledge base. You will hear all about the history of the Palais, including information about when it was still home of the League of Nations, as well as get the full scoop about what is currently going on in the world of diplomacy.